Lead Investigators

Meng Lu, Iowa State University

Project ID



The project evaluated the potential of utilizing a smartphone-based system for the in-field analysis of Soil Organic Matter. Although it demonstrated that the performance of the smartphone-based spectrometer can be comparable to commercial spectrometers, the results suggest that it is challenging to identify the spectral “signatures” of the SOM due to the morphology and moisture variation of soil samples.

Key Question

Can the diffuse reflection spectroscopy in the visible spectral range be used to analyze soil organic matter?


The researchers developed a compact smartphone-based special analyzer that can be used in-field to collect reflection spectrum from soil. They expected to establish the correlation between the soil organic contents and the measured reflection spectra from soil samples.

Principal Investigator(s)

Meng Lu


Richared Cruse

Year of Grant Completion